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So my son has decided he wants to catch his first pike, whilst I used to fish for pike a lot when I was younger, I haven’t caught one by design for about a decade. With this in mind, I thought I’d go out and target them today. I headed to my local ressie that has a good head of pike and had a wander around. I saw a pike strike in the margins, so that was my swim chosen! I flicked out two rods with deadbaits on, to wire traces and 1.1oz running leads on big bore run rings. Small smelt on one and small roach on the other. As I didn’t have any gear to tie up my own traces, I got a couple of shop brought wire traces, but the top treble was free sliding on the wire, only held in place with a length of silicone tubing. Within 10mins of casting out, I had a twitchy take on smelt, so I gave it 10secs then wound down and struck… into nothing! I rebaited and cast back out. Another 10mins passed and the roach was away, another gentle wind down to feel the weight before striking into nothing again! Thinking that they were feeling the resistance of the lead/set up and dropping the bait I switched to freelining. 5mins after casting, I had another run, so taking the rod in my hands, I felt the fish running with the smelt bait, line fizzing off the baitrunner, so I wound down and struck, nothing again! I rebaited and cast out, when a bite developed on the roach rod, again I took the rod in hand, baitrunner ticking away, wound down and struck into thin air again! I wasn’t even feeling the fish responsible. The smelt rod then rattled off, this time I held the rod, the line was peeling nicely off the baitrunner, the fish ran about 15-20yrds without stopping, then it slowed, before running again. I wound down and struck, absolutely nothing! A massive flurry of action between 7-9am then nothing until 4pm when I packed up. I leapfrogged swims, wobbled deadbaits, not a bleep all day. Now what was I doing wrong? I know that the pike in this lake feed in spells, so the flurry of action didn’t surprise me, I know the odd dropped run is inevitable, but 5 on the trot? In each case, the top treble was tight to the bottom treble, I did wonder if on the strike it was sliding and not penetrating properly, but I’d expect to feel some initial resistance on the strike before bumping the fish off. I thought it may have been eels grabbing and running with the bait, with the resulting strike whipping the bait out of their mouths? The baits didn’t have any teeth damage on retrieval. The baits were only 3-5” long, so I would expect even a small jack to get that in their mouths. Was I unlucky or was a sliding top treble at fault? or was it eels winding me up? I won’t be taking the boy pike fishing until I’ve got back into the swing of things myself, so I need to get this right! The wire used in the shop brought traces was pretty thick green stuff, maybe it was too obvious? 

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